Don't dis the study of Latin, says letter to the editor

Thursday, June 05, 2008

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A letter in the Bristol Herald Courier in Virginia sets the record straight on the benefits of learning Latin (bold parts have been highlighted by me):
Contrary to Cannon’s belief, Latin does, in fact, give students a solid foundation for learning other Romance languages in both grammar and vocabulary. According to the National Committee for Latin and Greek, Latin allows students to derive meaning from approximately 80 percent of vocabulary in Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian.

Cannon’s assertion that Latin will not help students be admitted into collegiate and graduate programs is also false. Gonzaga University Dean of Admissions Philip Ballinger stated, “We add extra ‘weight’ when we see Latin on a transcript.” Likewise, Princeton University Director of Admissions Steve LeMenager admits, “We value the study of Latin very highly.”

In addition, Latin gives students an edge on the SAT or ACT. For example, in 2007, the average verbal score was 502 for all students, 574 for Spanish students, 632 for German students, 637 for French students and 678 for Latin students. A full 176 points ahead of the average student!



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